PageGroup boss sells half of his shares

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Job seekers aren’t the only ones celebrating an increase in vacancies, following the easing of Covid restrictions. After a difficult foreclosure as expected, shares of recruitment consultancy PageGroup closed up 42% in 2021, as the job market continues to defy gloomy economic forecasts.

According to a December business update, operating profits for the full year are expected to reach £ 165million, ahead of previous forecasts. The third quarter of 2021 was particularly strong, with a gross margin across the group exceeding 2019 levels.

PageGroup’s resurgence coincides with record vacancies in the UK and a drop in new jobless claims in the US. Indeed, growth in the Americas has been particularly impressive compared to 2019, despite being one of the worst-hit regions during the pandemic.

Spotting an opportunity, PageGroup chief executive Steve Ingham unloaded 480,000 shares over the Christmas period, for more than £ 3million. Ingham’s price was 125% higher than the April 2020 nadir of 280p.

No reason was given for the divestiture, which more than halved Ingham’s stake in PageGroup.

Macroeconomic turmoil – including more Covid restrictions related to the Omicron variant, supply chain issues and inflation – could further affect PageGroup’s performance in a number of its markets in 2022. As of October, the group also warned of uncertainty over how quickly clients can reopen their offices.

The outlook for the labor market is therefore not very positive. Additionally, figures released by the Office for National Statistics suggest that the hiring wave in the UK is starting to slow, with the job vacancy growth rate continuing to slow between September and November 2021.

Commenting on PageGroup’s half-year results this summer, Ingham said, “At this point in the recovery, it is not clear whether the improvement in performance is still the result of pent-up supply and demand, or of a lasting trend ”. For now, the jury is still out.

Litigation Lender Executives Buy Down After Falling Share Price

Litigation financing no longer appears like the foolproof bet some investors initially thought it was.

Burford Capital recorded a loss of $ 67.5 million for the first half of 2021, compared to a profit of $ 187.9 million in the same period a year earlier as it recorded a non-cash accrued liability $ 79 million related to the potential benefits of the Employee Asset Carrying Plan.

Investment bank Close Brothers also recently decided it would pull out of the market after recording impairment charges against Novitas, a backer of the legal affairs it bought in 2017.

The company said Novitas’ risk profile was “no longer compatible with our long-term strategy and our risk appetite.”

However, investments are still underway in the area, with Gateley and Mishcon de Reya entering into partnerships with donors in September.

Litigation Capital Management is also stepping up its activities, having closed for $ 200 million the first close of its second fund in October. He is seeking to raise a total of $ 300 million, after committing 91% of the capital of his first fund of $ 150 million.

Among the cases he agreed to support in 2021 were a claim against former Carillion auditors, KPMG, following the collapse of the outsourcing group in 2018 and one against French appliance retailer Darty d ‘a liquidator of the former company of the Comet group.

Litigation Capital Management’s share price plunged from 104p to 80p on December 17 after it was announced that Executive Vice President Nick Rowles-Davies was fired for gross misconduct related to expense reports. The share price then rallied to close at 52% for 2021 at 100p, with Chairman Jonathan Molds and Managing Director Patrick Moloney both buying the decline.

Molds bought 725,000 shares, bringing its stake to 975,000, or 0.82% of the total. Moloney purchased 50,000 shares through ATE Holdings, a wholly owned Australian entity. This increases the size of its stake to 8.56 percent.

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